Orlando Thoughts on Orlando Brown Jr.
Image from ESPN.com

Every year leading up to junior days, and sometimes even before that we start to hear about who the next year’s offers are going to be.  Who we offer first sometimes tends to be a good indicator of who the coaches like the most.  If I remember correctly one of the earliest offers that Coach Bedenbaugh made last spring was to one young Mr. Brown.  Since Duke Robinson came out of Georgia a few years ago, we haven’t really pulled a lot of players out of the peach state.  As you all know, Georgia is in the heart of SEC country and it’s no small order getting kids to come out of the area to a place most feel is a long way away in Oklahoma.  K and I were talking about this the other day.  Kids from Louisiana and even Arkansas, Missisippi and Western Tennessee think that it’s closer to go play in Florida or South Carolina than it is to come to Norman.  What’s funny is that Jackson, Missisippi is actually closer to Norman, than it is to Columbia, SC, much less all of Louisiana, Arkansas and western Tennessee.  All geography lessons aside, whenever I see offers go out to kids in the southeast, I usually don’t get my hopes up.  I used to go try and get my hands on the film of any new offer that went out, naively thinking that since Oklahoma was my dream school, that kids would just flock to us.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand that a lot of kids don’t have a dream school and if they do, a lot of times it isn’t us.  Couple that with the fact that you rarely steal kids out of the southeast, and you can see why if you’re a recruiting junkie and film nut like I am, you can get a bit disenamored at times.  You get your hopes up, and get all excited only to see em go play at some SEC school.

So who is this guy who shook off the shackles of everyone’s favorite conference?  Who is this 12th hour pickup we got today that very few knew about?  Last year when the offer went out to Orlando Jr., I was unable to quell my curiosity.  I knew that the name from when his dad was playing for Cleveland and Baltimore.  His dad was a giant who had a 12 year NFL career, so naturally I gotta see the son of a guy who was 6’7″ and 360.  Orlando Sr., was a monster who played with attitude.  He was one of those guys you wanted with you in a dark alley.  He started playing in the league in 1993 right before I graduated high school.  The heaviest I ever played at was about 295, so, it was easy to become a fan of this guy who was two to three inches taller than me and nearly seventy pounds north of what I had.

Fast forward 20 years, and here’s his son with an Oklahoma offer.  Deep down I knew we probably weren’t going to get him, but I had to see what he was about.  I just couldn’t stand it.  When I began watching his film I saw a guy who was 6’8″ and 365.  In reading articles about him I was hearing that he knew he had a lot of bad weight to lose, and that he wanted to cut 35 pounds before his senior season.  He sounded like a good kid who had listened to what his dad had tried to teach him before his life was ended so prematurely.  I saw a kid who was huge obviously, but flashed quickness and power.  After losing the weight between seasons, and watching his film from his senior year, I saw a kid who had went through quite a physical transformation. The tape showed me a guy who again was a giant of a man, but played with the ferocity that’s normally synonymous with a lot of smaller guys.  He plays like he has something to prove. Think Phil Loadholt with Torrance Marshall’s attitude.   While the technique wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad either.  He’s just so big and powerful that he swallows guys up.  Pad level is always a struggle for guys who are as tall as he is, so it’s normal to see someone his size playing too high.  What I do like is that the guy is big, powerful, can move like a much smaller player, and is very, very physical.  He’s a right tackle to me, and will be a great compliment to Frison who will play on the left.

 Everyone loved playing with Jammal Brown(no relation), because he played with the attitude of a defensive player.  Very rarely do you see young offensive linemen playing with the nastiness this kid has.  He’ll need to reel it in a bit, since he lets the person he’s crushed hear about it after the play, but I’d rather have to rein someone in than prod them.   With the physicality of Dalton, Alvarez, Paul and Curtis on the inside, you can’t help but love the direction this offensive line is taking.  Big, nasty and for lack of a better term, just plain mean.  I gotta admit that I’m more excited about Brown than I’ve been about a recruit in a long time.  I know what kind of strength program we have, and coupled with the nutrition he’ll be getting here, if he buys in and works, he could develop into a first round pick for us.  You can’t teach size and nasty, and he has both in droves.

  • Cary Newman

    JY

    Certainly hope this young man can qualify. Thanks for the excellent write up.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    What’s his qualification situation? If he qualifies, this is a major steal.

    • Super K

      I wasn’t aware he had any issues.

      • Leroy Jenkins

        I could be wrong, but I thought the reason the Tennessee offer fell through was due to grades. They wanted to put him in a JUCO or a prep school. I just didn’t know if that situation was different here at OU.

        • ccmosaic

          Tennessee wanted him in Juco because they did not have room for him. They were hoping he would grey shirt for a year and then take him. Typical SEC crap and yet kids keep falling for it. Thank goodness this kid did not fall for it.
          I have heard that his HS coaches contacted OU and asked if they were still interested once they learned what Tennessee was planning on doing to the kid.

          • DrZemus

            I don’t know who those coaches are but…THANK YOU for (1) looking out for your kid and (2) contacting OU!

        • Fear The Magic

          Not sure about his grade situation but one thing for sure, if he does make it to campus and learns to get his pad level down OU got a steal. Serious road grader.

      • Sooner Ray

        I thought Jordan said earlier today that he had grade issues.

  • Sooner Ray

    I think we all want to know how OU plans to qualify this beast of a man and keep him above grade. We just don’t know enough about the situation.

  • wolfbuilder

    Had read somewhere that tennessee wanted him to go juco and we wanted to put him in a prep school for one semester, do we know if there is any truth to that?

  • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

    Knowing that we turned away others who had grade issues, I find it highly unlikely we’d take someone who had grade issues. There were guys who were on the top of the board at a couple of other positions the coaches said thanks but no thanks to, because of grades. From what I gather it was a situation at Tennessee where they just didn’t have room to take him. They picked up the Juco tackle Dontavius Blair, and three hs olinemen. Everything I’ve been told is that he is full go and there aren’t any qualification issues. The juco or prep school thing may be due to not having room and asking him to grayshirt. That’s pretty common in the SEC.

    • Sonny Schovanec

      exactly. They don’t place kids.

    • lovethemsooners

      Their insiders on the 247 site are convinced Brown will end up in a JUCO, and could possibly end up back at Tennessee. Any truth at all to that, or just sour grapes?

      • Sonny Schovanec

        Dang it.

  • dwells

    I heard that it is not grades but Tennessee wanted him to go to Juco for a year because they had cap issues with their scholarships.

    • Ed Cotter

      Man, I hope that was it, because this young man is a big pick up for OU. Would hate to see him not qualify.

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      Bingo

      • soonerthunder

        I guess what I don’t understand is, that if this is true, and he is so good, why wouldn’t Tenn have someone else go JUCO for a year and not this guy? Why take a chance on losing this guy? Are the other HS players even better than him in their opinion? It still doesn’t make sense to me, but I hope we get him from what all you guys are saying

        • Sonny Schovanec

          Maybe he is a borderline qualifier and Tenn looked at it that way when they had to cut bait. This has a different feel then Huggins deal last year. They were scrambling last year. I think OU feels good about this kids situation. Other than Metyer and he was one year prep school how many kids have the Sooner “placed” in JUCO and gotten them back in two years?

  • blaster1371

    If OU had one schools left andBrown qualifies and I would tale him straight up instead of Clarke.

    And another thing about Clarke, I look at it as he wanted to go to LSU instead of he didn’t want to go to OU. Which is cool.

    • blaster1371

      Sorry for the typos. Should have read if OU had one scholly left… I would take…

  • CoachStauder

    Here’s what doesn’t make sense…why would Brown be the one they asked to do that, JY? He was not their “odd man out” as far as talent goes and he is the son of a former NFL player. Not a kid they should give the run around. This is why it is logical to me that he may have qualification issues. If he doesn’t, Awesome. If he does, hopefully 1 year at a prep school will do the trick and back to OU. Love the kid and think he will maul some folks.

    Do you guys realize how much BEEF this OL class has? WOW. Throw in Wariboko, Barnett and a few others in 2015 and we got some GIGANTIC dudes.

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      Just telling you what I’ve heard man.

      • Sonny Schovanec

        Thanks for saying that JY. Not to make look good by any means but I was sure I heard it come from this staff that they weren’t going to place kids. I thought I might be getting the onset of dementia or something.

      • CoachStauder

        Not offended whatsoever. Not sure why I would be? I hope you are right…but there is info out there from reputable sources that this kid is very borderline. With as good as he is, I hope you are right. We need this kid on campus. I think when he gets to campus will tell us a lot about him being close or not. We will never know definitively one way or the other though…unless of course he ends up at a prep or juco. I know I will be nervous until then. Kid has the goods.

      • Sonny Schovanec

        “not placing kids this year” “Bob was done with it” for good reason IMO JY. OU’s brand is hot right now. They can afford to be selective. Too many misses on kids that go JUCO.

  • 38Special

    Just have him take some BYU summer courses. It worked for that kid from The Blind Side. If he can qualify, anybody can qualify.

  • Sonny Schovanec

    A lot of people freaking about Brown qualifying. I have a hard time believing the coaches would take a non qualifier with the hot streak they are on.

    • CoachStauder

      Brown’s talent is worth the risk AND if they can place him then they have a better shot afterwards.

      • Sonny Schovanec

        Stoops and the gang don’t place.

        • Sonny Schovanec

          If they took him they think he will qualify. They are diligent in trying to get only qualifiers. sure there are exceptions but how many non qualifiers have Stoops and the co took after JC? I wouldn’t be adamant about it but I have heard him say it repeatedly that they don’t place kids.

          • Sonny Schovanec
          • CoachStauder

            Because newsok doesn’t have adept recruiting writers. OU placed Huggins. OU placed Metoyer. OU placed Wade. They don’t do it often, but they do, do it. Those are all recent. They have had non-qualifiers and they have taken chances on kids. Brown could be one of them.

          • Sonny Schovanec

            Time will tell.

          • Sonny Schovanec
          • Sooner Ray

            What? you got a signing day hangover?

          • Sonny Schovanec

            I noticed you checked out pretty early last night.

          • Sooner Ray

            the action slowed and 10:30 ain’t early for an old guy full of beer!

          • bmrsnr

            Didn’t place Wade, he just had to pass his Texas exit exam to graduate.

          • CoachStauder

            Wade did have grade issues and his late qualifier status caused him to miss the year he came in on. He was a 2011 kid that didn’t make it until 2012 (well i think spring though) so it was still a guy that OU took as a grade risk. I did forget that tidbit and you are correct that it really wasn’t a placement as much as Jordan just not qualifying on time.

          • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

            zactly

          • CoachStauder

            JY, I just gave 3 very quick kids OU placed off the top of my head. There is no “zactly” about it….

          • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

            geez man, didn’t mean to tick you off.

          • CoachStauder

            Not ticked. It’s just the facts. You agree with Sonny, and he says Stoops doesn’t place….yet he does. Trust me, when I disagree that doesn’t mean I’m “ticked”. What’s the point in getting upset over a little recruiting discussion?

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      I agree

      • Sonny Schovanec

        No way some Vols people planted the grades seed after OU came and and stole him. See it every time a kid flips from the fans and people of the school he flipped from. See Garnett when he flipped. I’ll trust that the OU coaches did work on this kid and he will qualify. If not I’ve been wrong before

        • CoachStauder

          Garnett was a legit grade concern. Which is why ND had waited to offer. There was smoke there. Just as there was with Huggins when he flipped to us last year…as annoying as they are, the aggies were right on him.

  • Doobie74OU

    JY Seems like our focus on Oline has shifted a bit. Seem more focused on getting Bigger more Physical Guys to me. Do you agree and if so is this a product of what Coach Bedenbaugh wants in Olinemen or is it because we are moving away from a Straight Shotgun Passing attack and into more of a Zone Read Passing attack and just trying to be more physical as a whole?

  • tforce

    Brown is a good sign, regardless of qualify risk, based on potential to be an elite player.

    One thing I like about the class is the balance. OU got the numbers that I projected they needed at each position. The places where the “star ranking” isn’t elite, OU got players that appear to be good system fits or are linemen, where recruiting service rankings are notoriously poor projections of success.

  • EasTex

    Excellent post, JY, appreciate your perspective and passion.
    I was stunned when it was announced he had signed, mostly because he did so sight unseen. That does concern me a little, as OU is a “settle” for him not a genuine appreciation of the campus, team mates or coaches. I hope my concern is displaced and he becomes a memorable Sooner.

  • CyberSooner

    Loadholt with the attitude of T. Marshall? Love it.

  • Pat Patterson

    I was impressed with the film I saw. In most cases he seemed to just over power them and fall on them. I saw at least two where the player tried to get back up and he just reached out a big paw like a bear and swatted them back down. At least a couple of others that didn’t go down, he kept driving them down field and out of the play until they blew the play dead. I don’t think I ever saw anyone move him back. One of the first films that had me laughing through it. I kept thinking “Resistance Is Futile”.
    It could be that he just hasn’t had any competition big enough to challenge him, but he definitely has attitude.

  • hOUligan

    I remember him but figured OU had moved on. Sounds like he didn’t like how things were shaking out with UT and reached out to CBob. Great get. Just hope he does see the OU campus. Good write-up, as usual, JY.

  • Eric Hoffpauir

    Brown’s coach said that Brown actually paid attention to how many OU linemen make it into the NFL. That was one of the things (other than the Sugar Bowl) that turned the tide to us.

  • Sooner Ray

    Watched some film on all the recruits. How in the hell are we gonna get all these guys on the field, we are LOADED!

    • Sonny Schovanec

      Good haul. Stoops actually sounded kind of giddy. Generally he always gives the standard ” we have loved all our classes and wouldnt sign them if we didn’t think they could play yada yada yada” when asked how classes compare. He falt out said “this class is one of our best”.

      • Sooner Ray

        I was expecting the standard speak also. Was thinking about other classes last night and it’s been a while since I’ve felt this good about a group of guys.

        • Sonny Schovanec

          I’m not an insider guru like some but from the outside looking in I think Montgomery had a huge impact. Not only him as a recruiter but his presence and enthusiasm had an impact on the whole staff. Even Stoops hit the trail and has hit the 2015 trail more then I can remember. Montgomery was everywhere. Need to give Coach Mont a freaking raise.

          • Sooner Ray

            Yeah for good reason they are being more aggressive in the recruiting effort and it’s paying off big time. I’m glad they realize that recruiting is hard work but the rewards are tremendous. So happy about this group of coaches.

  • lovethemsooners

    Outstanding write up JY. Loved the “Phil Loadholt with the Torrance Marshall attitude” line. If he’s anything like that, he’s gonna hurt some folks. Can’t wait to watch this OL come together.

    I’m not trying to knock Coach Patton and Coach Kittle, but it’s pretty obvious that Montgomey and Bedenbaugh are an upgrade. Hope we can hang on to them for a while.

  • ohiosoonerdevildog

    Just out of curiosity. Does he project as a lt or a rt?

    • Sooner Ray

      JY may have a different opinion being an expert but I would say RT. based on his hips and foot movement. (actually, JY called him a RT.)

  • Indy_sooner

    I don’t think anyone knows what Brown’s situation, no need to get worked up on this.
    We landed a good one in him regardless of his situation.

    BTW, he has two brothers (not certain where/ if they play) so this may be the start of a great legacy guys.

    • Sonny Schovanec

      No doubt. Good post. The time of posting late last night might have influenced my argumentive nature a little.

      • Indy_sooner

        No worries man. I was not targeting anyone in particular, just posting some general thoughts.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Thanks for clearing up any confusion about qualifying. Do you see him redshirting in 2014? What are areas you see that he needs improvement? He looks identical to King Dunlap (San Diego Chargers OT) to me…and he’s only 17 yrs old.

    What a great OL class this year. And just think, we were all pretty concerned about it just a week or two ago. Great evaluation JY!

  • soonerinks

    I don’t see that there is any down side to his commitment at all. If he qualifies we have a very physical talent at a position of great need. If he does not qualify, what have we lost? He was the last commit so it does not hurt our numbers in any way. If not, then he enrolls in prep school or goes the JUCO route and we have a great chance to pick him up later (if he/we are still a good match). Looks lake an absolute win to me.

  • Josh

    Love seeing this kid and all of the other OL the Sooners are bringing in frankly, Coach B obviously has had a tremendous impact!! All the tapes I saw on these kids showed guys that are nasty!! Jamal Brown, Trent Williams… those guys were attitude guys! Guys that block until the ECHO of the whistle! Guys like this will compete with one another not just to grade out the highest on film but to see who gets the most pancakes in a game! Love where our Sooners are headed!! BOOMER!!!

    • Sonny Schovanec

      “ECHO of the whistle” I like that. Might have to use that one.

      • Josh

        Yeah I can’t remember where I heard that originally but it is said often to my players.

        • JSam

          Seems like the first time I heard it (which was likely not the first time it was coined) was from Bobby Bowden at FSU – maybe even before the 2000 NC game.

  • Jared William Reininger

    From what I was told, he does have some grade issues but he should be able to qualify. So I think it may just mean he needs to get a good GPA this semester to qualify. I guess we will see.

  • Alex Ehlers

    I’m really excited to see what this offensive line class is able to accomplish in the upcoming seasons. If this is the type of o-lineman that BB is going to recruit, then count me in as being a fan of “Bill’s Boys.”

  • JJsooner1

    Wow, just plain old Wow. If I hear anyone talkin trash about what these coaches make, it might be the first time I get arrested for assault on a Dumb A$$.

  • Allen P

    Do we have any grade risks in this class or are all on schedule to be here? I look for a few of them to show up early in Summer. If we are able to get them ALL on campus wouldn’t this be the first time in a few years we have gotten that lucky?

  • CoachStauder

    Still seeing a lot of noise about Brown’s academics. That makes sense logically as there is no way they risk losing a kid with that pedigree and film by telling him to grayshirt or go to a prep school for a year.